Speaker of the Texas A&M Faculty Senate Martha Loudder responds via
email to questions from the Texas Civil Rights Review. The questions try to fill in the details of a
timeline. Near the end of the email, Loudder looks forward to good news from this year’s recruiting
efforts and argues that the Gates plan is best for the University. See Loudder’s complete reply
A Report from the Committee on Minority Conditions recommends, “that
each year the Speaker of the Faculty Senate discuss the results/recommendations of this report with the
President, Vice Presidents and with the Board
Q: Will you
be able to follow the recommendation this year? Would you please share details of dates, persons, and
A: The following recommendations were made:
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE FACULTY SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE ON MINORITY
CONDITIONS AT TEXAS A&M
Summary of Recommendations
* Increase financial assistance to undergraduate and
graduate students to fulfill the University’s mission in the state of Texas.
additional funding for increasing the total faculty.
* Create the office of Vice President for
Diversity with sufficient funding to make a difference in the recruiting, hiring, and retention of
* Recognize and reward Colleges for aggressively recruiting, hiring, and
retaining minority scholars. This recognition and the rewards would include but not
limited to above average merit raises for Deans, Department Heads and other
increase diversity in units under their supervision.
These recommendation had been made
every year since I have been involved in the Faculty Senate. It was only when Dr. Gates came to Texas
September 2002 that any of them were seriously considered by the administration. Every single
one of them has been implemented. Dr. Frank Ashley (Director of Admissions) can provide more on the
first and third. Dean Jane Conoley can tell you more about the other
According to the minutes of the Faculty Senate on Sept. 8, 2003, there
were four members listed for the Undergraduate Admissions Advisory
I’m not clear on the context for the four names.
Are they new to the committee? What was the
process the produced those names?
A: They are a number of standing
committees in the university. The faculty senate appoints one or more to them when there are vacancies.
on Committees” is charged with this duty. It consists of senators from each college
who are elected by their college senate caucuses.
The admissions committee
list was updated on Oct. 8.
Q: Would it be fair to report that the list was “finalized” on Oct. 8?
A: I believe that this is the composition of the current committee.
According to minutes of the Nov. 10 meeting of the Faculty Senate, a
report was approved and accepted from the Undergraduate Admissions Advisory Committee
Q: When this
proposal was approved by the Faculty Senate, was there any discussion about the significance of the
report in terms of affirmative
A: Yes, there was a rather
spirited discussion about it. Dr. Mark Weichold and Dr. Frank Ashley were present to explain the
proposal and answer questions. Some of our faculty members were very dissappointed that the admissions
changes did not include race as an admissions factor. However, a large majority was satisfied that the
plan would have the desired
effect of increasing diversity.
As you know, we decided
to focus on our two major impediments to diversity: (1) only about 40% of the African Americans
admitted actually enroll, and (2)our inability to compete with substantial scholarships. There seems to
be a general, but certainly not unanimous, agreement that waiting until Fall 2005 (the earliest date
that admissions criteria changes can be adopted) is not the best strategy.
implemented a plan in December to recruit minority applicants in much the same fashion as we recruit
athletes…one at a time, aggressively. It
involves current and former students, faculty and
administrators. My own Dean (Business) made phone calls to over 90 prospects during the
The President has worked to insure an additional 2,200 full scholarships, with over half
of them going to minority students. It’s too early to start bragging but early reports look like we
are making progress.
In my opinion, Greg, this is affirmative action at its best —
providing both active outreach and the financial means for minority students to come
to Texas A&M.
IT HAS NOT OCCURRED IN PREVIOUS YEARS (caps intentional)!
I have worked in the civil
rights movement since the Sixties, and was even an Affirmative Action Officer in an earlier life.
Accordingly, I was an advocate of considering race in admissions when we started this process last
summer. However I have become convinced of two things: first, we have a president who is personally and
deeply committed to improving diversity at TAMU, and second, he has the courage to do what he believes
is right for this university, even if he has to take a lot of heat over it.
I can see
that you care a great deal about this school, and I hope that you will tell your readers about our
efforts and our successes.
The report of the admissions committee was
approved by the President within four days.
Q: In what form does the FS receive notice that a report has been approved
by the President?
A: Usually a letter comes from him to me.